Re: CLDR Usage of Gregorian Calendar Era Terms: BC and AD -- Can we please have "CE" and "BCE" ?

From: Kenneth Whistler (
Date: Thu Dec 20 2007 - 14:19:45 CST

  • Next message: William J Poser: "Re: CLDR Usage of Gregorian Calendar Era Terms: BC and AD -- Can we please have "CE" and "BCE" ?"

    > On Dec 19, 2007, at 7:20 PM, Ed Trager wrote:
    > > I forgot to add that the default should be CE/BCE precisely because it
    > > is religiously neutral as the article points
    > > out.

    > With respect, I disagree. CLDR defaults should be based on prevalent
    > use. If BC/AD are still more common, then use those as the defaults.
    > CLDR should be descriptive, not prescriptive.

    Again, everybody seems to be missing the point that there are
    two *competing* sets of era terms here, not one set of terms
    with one translation for it being in more prevalent use.

    The CLDR participants have gone to the trouble, for example, to
    document *239* Japanese era names in the repository, for the
    calendar-japan entries. So the number of era entries in
    the database for any one calendar is certainly not the issue.

    I don't see the problem with acknowledging that there are two
    sets of era terminology for the Gregorian calendar, and then
    augmenting the current entries:

    calendar-gregorian era [000]-Abbr BC
    calendar-gregorian era [000]-Name Before Christ
    calendar-gregorian era [000]-Abbr AD
    calendar-gregorian era [000]-Name Anno Domini

    with the entries:

    calendar-gregorian era [000]-Abbr BCE
    calendar-gregorian era [000]-Name Before Common Era
    calendar-gregorian era [000]-Abbr CE
    calendar-gregorian era [000]-Name Common Era

    and then just get on with the business of collecting
    localized names for all of these.

    German: v. Chr, n. Chr.
    French: av. J.-C., ap. J.-C.

    for the first set, and:

    German: v.u.Z, u.Z (or whatever happens to be in prevalent use now)
    etc., etc.

    This gets CLDR out of this embroilment in cultural and
    religious wars over terminology. Or are we all just so
    damn partisan these days that we can't manage to see our
    way clear to obvious compromise solutions?

    And if there is software widely deployed that depends on
    there being exactly one set of Gregorian calendar era terms
    defining exactly two eras for it in CLDR, then I submit
    that that software is broken for localization, because it
    has adopted a model that prevents it from actually presenting
    calendrical dates formatted to users' local preferences.


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